Have you ever been driving in a car and heard a song come on the radio that
immediately took you to another time and another place? Or instantly remind you of
your first dance, your first job or your first love? It’s because music is a powerful
and effective tool for association.
Most of us enjoy music, the genres may vary but music makes you feel good. Some
listen to the rhythm or beat, some like the musical arrangements and others like
interpreting the lyrics, but we all are affected in some way.
I have found throughout my various incarnations of chasing health and fitness
objectives over the years that music, and certain songs in general, can be an
extremely powerful tool and asset.
I cannot run without headphones and a playlist. It’s always been that way with me.
So I take extra time in selecting songs that amp me up, inspire me and motivate me
whether it be with heavy driving beats or relative lyrics. What happens with
repetition of these playlists is that these songs become ingrained in your mind while
exercising to the point that anytime you hear ANY one of these songs, your mind
gravitates towards exercise. I could be driving home after a 14-hour day, completely
exhausted mentally and physically, and if “Till I Collapse” by Eminem comes on, all I
can think about at that moment is training. It’s pretty cool actually!!
This past summer I ran a program at the gym called “Pete’s Transformation Team”
and we started every class with an active warm up to the song “Love Runs Out” by
One Republic. What happened was that during every session, one of the participants
would say, “I heard that song on the radio and automatically wanted to start doing
jumping jacks or push ups!” It became a running gag. The program was amazingly
successful and there were permanent bonds of friendship formed. When the
program came to end, I was running one day and the song came on my playlist; and
guess what happened? I became emotional and nostalgic. It was pretty cool
The power of song or music can be a powerful motivator, so take advantage. Any
tool that is going to get you into the gym or out on the road and just moving can and
should be exploited. Stay healthy!!
Peter Courtney is a personal trainer with 360fit in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.